31 Aug 2021

Managing Sales Teams that are Working Remotely

As NSW and Victoria continue lockdown and with the indication that it may not be lifted any time in the near future, life at Salexo has changed dramatically with all of our consultants working from home due to the public health orders in place.

We are very interested to hear thoughts, suggestions and comments around the good (and not so good) practices that have been developed as we all work through these new challenges to business.

At Salexo, we now have our morning meetings via phone calls or a video chat and everyone is still entirely focused on what they need to do and getting it all done! The biggest commentary from our team is the lack of social interaction now that they are not altogether in the office. We think even David Attenborough would agree that recruiters are amongst some of the most social animals out there in nature! Combatting that has been challenging, and it is essential to think outside the box to keep the team communicating with each other, not only from a work perspective but also to ensure their mental health is being looked after.

We have taken to working together in pairs and even flipping tasks back and forth between our consultants, which has been beneficial to our team. Encouraging collaboration and embracing it has been a real benefit. We expect this will be an ongoing advantage to our team and performance even when we can get back into the office once again.

There certainly was an adjustment, but now everyone seems to be doing the best they can. A remarkable observation and positive sign are that a lot of companies have adapted to the ongoing situation, and this has been conducive to facilitating recruitment. Being busy has helped our team cope, and we are grateful for all the interaction and response our clients are giving us.

This has led to us using live chats to comment on all of those little wins that occur during the workday so that we can all share in the victories as we would typically in the office environment.

This has been had quite a positive effect on all our team. Creating our virtual environment to have as many similarities as possible as what we enjoyed in the office environment has been very beneficial.

Interestingly an unexpected side effect of the lockdown has led us all to discover some elements in our daily office life were not only unnecessary but diminished our ability to get a result. After all, sales teams are all about the result, whether that be weekly, monthly or larger scale.I think we are fortunate in many ways when it comes to developing best practices during lockdown. Every one of our team members are interacting with companies/clients of varying size who are all dealing with the same issue within their sales teams. Part of our team development is sharing ideas of what is and what is not working with our clients and then utilizing what will work best for us.

There has been remarkable progress in the acceptance of working from home. However, as with anything that is a new concept, we have heard some unfavourable stories as well. We think one of the most critical aspects of working from home is to treat them as adults, and once expectations are set, they allow people to just get on with it.

One of our consultants discovered from an employee of a company that their company made them check-in and update what they had done every hour. Further to this, the employee received a phone call from their manager when they were in the bathroom, asking why their computer had shown no activity for over 5 minutes. Whilst we are not here to comment on good and bad practices as each company has an individual approach, that is undoubtedly one of the more “interesting” ways to manage staff working from home.

As specialist recruiters, we continue to see the market tighten for quality candidate availability as candidate reluctance is trending higher. Given that most salespeople are working from home, we would think that companies would be doing all they can to protect and retain their top talent. It would be great to hear some of the things that are being done to make the working from home experience as productive as possible.

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